20 Dec 2005
How's That Again? An Echoing Refrain
Raphaela Papadakis seems to like ‘playing with fire’. After her acclaimed performance as the put-upon maid, Anna, in Independent Opera’s production of Šimon Voseček’s Beidermann and the Arsonists at Sadler’s Wells last year, she is currently rehearsing for the premiere this week of And London Burned, a new opera by Matt Rogers which has been commissioned by Temple Music Foundation to commemorate the 350th anniversary of The Great Fire of London.
Echo is the musical gift that keeps on giving, sometimes longer than you wish it did. We get a lot of echo this time of year. Christmas music belongs in churches, and the big ones are bighearted enough to make sure we hear a single performance not once but a number of times in quick succession.
In the space of a second, light moves 186,000 miles. In the meantime, sound has limped about, say, 1,100 feet. Think of fireworks in the distance. We see them; the sound arrives later. Creating music indoors is like throwing a number of balls around a four-sided handball court and waiting for them to come back to you. If the balls are of different sizes and thrown at different speeds, your ears, so to speak, will have their hands full.